What is the Phased Staff Retirement Program?

Dear Benny:
Today’s struggling economy is forcing me to rethink my plans for retirement. I’d feel more comfortable having a steady income for at least another year, but I’ve been looking forward to retiring from Penn and enjoying more free time for myself and my family. I understand the University is now offering a Phased Staff Retirement Program. Can you tell me more about the new program and how I might benefit from it?
—Retirement Realities

Dear Retirement Realities:
For an answer to your question, we turned to Penn’s Division of Human Resources, who told us that concerns about when to retire are fairly common. Many people nearing retirement age have been forced to rethink their plans as a result of the economic downturn. For some individuals, including you, a gradual transition into retirement may help make the decision of when to retire a little easier—and that’s the purpose of the Voluntary Phased Staff Retirement Program.

Eligible staff members who participate in the Phased Retirement Program have the ability to gradually reduce their workload but still receive the same benefits they receive as a full-time staff member. Keep in mind that benefits based on your salary will be based on your reduced salary if you participate in this program.

In order to participate, you must meet the Rule of 75, which means that your age, plus your years of service, must total at least 75. Participation also depends on the business needs of your department, and your arrangement must be approved by your supervisor and your school or center.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the Phased Retirement Program, contact the Human Resources Retirement Office to confirm whether you’re eligible, and then discuss the program with your supervisor to see if it’s a viable option.

For more information, visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/retiring or contact Human Resources at askhr@hr.upenn.edu.

Got a question for Benny? Send it via e-mail to current@pobox.upenn.edu or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106.

Originally published on February 18, 2010